This is a newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, commencing September 2017. It aims to provide an overview of the large trends in Canadian political economy. Text in square brackets [ ] is by Roger Annis. The most recent entries are at top of the list. Beginning April 2018, headlines in red denote articles by Roger Annis. These are published on the website main page and also listed in their respective subject categories. Months preceding June 2018 are contained under ‘News pages archives’, which you can find in the listing of website categories. To find past stories on this and other news pages on this website, use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser.
Alberta NDP government contracts out prying telephone survey promoting Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, report in National Observer, July 16, 2018
Does Canada have a refugee crisis? No, op-ed commentary by Jean-Nicolas Beuze, Toronto Star, July 17, 2018 (Jean-Nicolas Beuze, is the representative to Canada of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR))
Related: Does Canada have a refugee crisis? Yes, op-ed commentary by Brian Lee Crowley, Toronto Star, July 17, 2018 (Brian Lee Crowley is managing director of the MacDonald Laurier Institute in Ottawa.)
In pictures, Canadian dailies’ juvenile reporting of Putin-Trump summit meeting in Finland:
And aping the same theme, New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Charlie Angus tweeted on July 17: ‘How does one describe the spectacle of the president of the United States acting like a compliant hand puppet of Vladimir Putin? Here is one succinct and articulate analysis…’ In another tweet one day earlier, Angus cites approvingly a former director of the CIA: ‘Former CIA chief stated “Trump’s press conference was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were his comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.” ‘ Meanwhile, the NDP’s foreign affairs critic, Hélène Laverdière, tweets her support for financier and oligarch Bill Browder who is waging a personal crusade against the Russian government for depriving him of allegedly ill-gotten gains during the cowboy capitalist years of post-Soviet Russia. [For the story of Bill Browder’s crusade, see this Oct 27, 2017 article.]
Annual parks report outlines action plan for meeting Canada’s land and freshwater protection targets, by Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), July 17, 2018
* Report urges action on conservation to stem biodiversity crisis, by Gloria Galloway, Globe and Mail, July 17, 2018 … To date, just 10.5 per cent of Canada’s land and fresh water has been protected. To reach 17 per cent, which was promised at a meeting of 194 countries in Japan in 2010, an area approximately the size of Alberta will have to be declared off-limits to development over the next two years…
* Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study, by Bob Weber, Canadian Press, July 15 2018 An exhaustive federal study of Canada’s largest national park concludes almost every aspect of its environment is deteriorating. The 561-page report on Wood Buffalo National Park says industry, dams, climate change and natural cycles are sucking the watery lifeblood from the vast delta of northeastern Alberta’s Peace and Athabasca rivers. The report was prepared after concerns were raised over the park’s UNESCO World Heritage status and it backs up most of the concerns…
Study says hundreds of glaciers in Canadian Arctic are shrinking, disappearing, by Bob Weber, Canadian Press, July 16, 2018
Ontario education minister flip-flops on sex-ed curriculum stance, Canadian Press, July 16, 2018
Related: Amid backlash over sex education curriculum, Ontario premier goes into damage control, by Martin Regg Cohn, Ontario politics columnist, Toronto Star, July 16, 2018
Justin Trudeau is supporting Donald Trump’s military agenda, by Thomas Walkom, national affairs columnist, Toronto Star, July 16, 2018 (Read here in pdf format: Justin Trudeau is supporting Donald Trump.) [The following is a supplementary note by A Socialist In Canada to an otherwise highly noteworthy column by the Toronto Star’ Thomas Walkom: The days when mainstream media in Canada and internationally would at least acknowledge the presence and extensive influence of the political extreme-right in Ukraine’s government and armed forces appear ended, even in analysis such as the above voicing scepticism about NATO’s new cold against Russia. The self-censoring includes no reporting of the rise of violence by Ukraine’s extreme right against national minorities in the country (notably the Roma people) and continued violence against journalists and anyone else critical of Ukraine’s ‘new order’ which staged a violent seizure of power in February 2014. Instead, we encounter heightened accusations of Russian ‘annexation of Crimea’ and ‘invasion of Ukraine’. The anti-Russia accusations serve to cover up the inexorable advance of NATO militarism and that of NATO’s partners in crime in the Asia-Pacific region.]
Liquefied natural gas projects are incompatible with British Columbia’s climate obligations, by Marc Lee, Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives (BC office), July 11, 2018
Related: Submission by Ben Parfitt of Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives (BC office) to the Scientific Hydraulic Fracturing Review Panel of the British Columbia government, June 25, 2018 (11 pages)
Advocates call for additional investigation into carding of Indigenous women and non-recorded checks by Vancouver police, by Cherise Seucharan, StarMetro Vancouver, July 12, 2018 … Indigenous women made up 21 per cent of women street checked (‘carded’) by police in 2016, and 20 per cent of women in 2017 despite making up only two per cent of the overall female population…
* One in five women ‘carded’ by Vancouver police in 2016 were Indigenous, CKNW News, July 11, 2018
* No changes to be made in police ‘carding’ of Indigenous people and Black people, says Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, Globe and Mail, July 11, 2018
Haiti’s popular uprising calls for President Jovenel Moïse’s removal, by Kim Ives, co editor, Haiti Liberté (print weekly, July 11, 2018 [Canadian media has been totally silent on the popular uprising against poverty taking place in Haiti. Little wonder. Its mainstream, corporate component is entirely complicit in the violent, paramilitary coup in 2004 that overthrew Haiti’s elected president and then the miserable failure of the international aid effort following the January 2010 earthquake. In Quebec, the political left as well as NGO industry is similarly complicit. In English speaking Canada, the political left is less compromised than its counterpart in Quebec, but it, too, is silent over current events. ‘Nuff said.
The case of Hassan Diab: Nothing less than a public inquiry will do, by Michelle Weinroth, published in The Bullet, July 11, 2018
Related: There should be a fully independent public inquiry to prevent any repeat of the injustice done to Hassan Diab, open letter by Joe Clark, Ed Broadbent and Monique Begin, published in the Globe and Mail, July 3, 2018 (text here)
Canadian PM talks tough in Latvia, backing anti-Russia NATO and extending Canada’s military adventure in Latvia to 2023, report by The Canadian Press, July 10, 2018
Canada to intervene in Iraq with 250 soldiers, under the guise of ‘training’, report by CBC News, July 11, 2018
Asylum seekers not to blame for shelter crisis in Toronto, commentary by Michael Coren, Toronto Star, July 10, 2018
Western provinces, First Nations urge Ottawa to provide alternative to cancelled Greyhound routes, Globe and Mail, July 10, 2018 [The Canadian government had no hesitation in spending billions of dollars in the recent nationalization of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipleline. But fund crucial, live-saving inter-city bus service? ‘Not interested”, says Ottawa.]
* Cutting Greyhound bus service in Western Canada puts Indigenous women at risk, op-ed by Emily Riddle, Globe and Mail, July 10, 2018
* How deregulation killed bus service west of Sudbury, by Thomas Walkom, columnist, Toronto Star, July 11, 2018
* Greyhound Canada to end inter-city bus service in Western Canada provinces, CBC News, July 8, 2018 [Alongside the rise of oil production, urban sprawl and automobile sales in Canada during the past four decades has been the decline of inter-city rail and bus passenger service. The only exception has been mixed improvement in rail passenger service in the Quebec City-to Windsor, Ontario corridor. First Atlantic Canada, now western Canada have lost altogether inter-city bus service, a service particularly important to working class and First Nations people. Media is failing to report that a key recommendation of the British Columbia government’s 2010 inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women was provision of inter-city passenger bus service along the Highway of Tears in the north of the province. That recommendation was never implemented. Indeed, back in 2002, the government eliminated passenger rail service between Vancouver and Prince George and it has stood by as rail service between Prince George and Prince Rupert has dwindled to three times per week and ticket prices have risen sharply.]
Anti-Russia lunacy in Canada’s Globe and Mail [In the July 11, 2018 Globe and Mail, longstanding columnist Lawrence Martin calls Donald Trump “Putin’s wingman”. He writes, “Among the upheavals brought on by Donald Trump, it’s hard to find one more egregious than his scheming against his country’s traditional allies [ie NATO].” But how to explain the Trump regime’s threats, sanctions and military escalations against Russia? Not to speak of U.S. threats against Russia’s friend and ally China and not to speak of Syria and North Korea, where Russia is acting to stave off more U.S. aggression? Never mind, when it comes to anti-Russia hysteria, conspiracy trumps facts.]
* Russia hysteria reaches fever pitch in U.S. media as Trump-Putin summit looms, RT, July 11, 2018
* Liberals’ Trump-Russia fever dreams have reached parody status, by Matthew Walther, published in The Week, July 10, 2018 [Critiquing this lengthy essay: At Trump-Putin meeting, will Trump be meeting with his counterpart or his handler?, feature essay by Jonathan Chait, in New York Magazine, July 8, 2018] … I give voice to the above lunatic fancy, which I was able to concoct with almost minimal effort in a matter of about 30 seconds with the use of Twitter, Google, and Wikipedia, in the hope of reminding readers how easy it is to put together a plausible-sounding hypothesis if you are already convinced of certain premises. In this case, that premise is the fact that despite the lack of any real evidence, there exists or existed a high-level conspiracy between Trump and various members of his 2016 campaign and various agents of the Russian government, up to and potentially including Vladimir Putin himself, to elect Trump president of the United States two years ago…
Jewish group wants Trudeau to condemn glorification of Nazis during Latvia visit, by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen, July 9, 2018 [Pro-imperialist, anti-Russia Jewish groups in Canada such as B’nai Brith are caught in their own contradictions as they voice concern with the rise of extreme right forces in NATO-member countries such as Latvia and also in Ukraine. Governments and extreme-right groups there are rewriting World War Two-era history, celebrating Nazi sympathizers with commemorations, new laws and renamings of public spaces.]
Trudeau government commits to more troops, extended stay in provocative NATO mission in Latvia, report in CBC News, July 10, 2018
Ontario election 2018: Right-wing populism prevails over moderate social democracy, by Matt Fodor, published in The Bullet, July 9, 2018 [This article is a lengthy, factual recounting of the June 7 election in the province of Ontario, won by the pro-austerity and anti-immigrant Conservative Party led by Doug Ford. The article concludes with libertarian hopes that “revitalized social coalitions” will arise to oppose the new, right-wing Ontario government. What about building a left-wing party in the province of Ontario and country of Canada? The writer and the ‘Socialist Project’ publishers of The Bullet have not a word to offer.]
The pro-imperialist foreign affairs spokesperson for the NDP won’t run for re-election in 2019, report in Toronto Star, July 9, 2018 [Hélène Laverdière worked for several decades in Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, beginning in 1992. Since 2011, she has been the latest in a long line of New Democratic Party foreign affairs spokespeople marching in footstep with the imperialist foreign policy of successive Liberal and Conservative party governments in Ottawa.]
Socialist International of 140 political parties globally adopts Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions policy against Israel, also calls for military embargo, by Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), July 5, 2018 [In Canada, the New Democratic Party remains a staunch defender of Israel as an apartheid and imperialist state (and here). Conveniently for the NDP’s pro-Zionist, pro-imperialist foreign policy, the NDP dropped its membership in the Socialist International in 2018. But the Socialist International resolution nonetheless provides an important basis to pursue debate in the party and in its affiliated trade unions to win their rank and file members to support the national rights of the Palestinian people.]
New right-wing government in Ontario follows Trump script with attacks against asylum seekers, report in Globe and Mail, July 5, 2018
* Ford government is ending co-operation with Ottawa on resettlement of asylum-seekers, Toronto Star, July 5, 2018
* Making immigration an issue is a dangerous game, by Thomas Walkom, columnist, Toronto Star, July 8, 2018
Class action lawsuit in Canada seeks $600 million for families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, CBC News, July 5, 2018 [The class action lawsuit comes as the federal government-appointed National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (Wikipedia) stumbles along, suffering yet another resignation and reaffirming that it won’t investigate police and judicial negligence and misconduct (stories here and here). Some 1,100 women and girls have gone missing in Canada during the past decades, most of whom are Indigenous people.]
* Lawyer with Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry resigns, citing government interference, CBC News, July 3, 2018
* Inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls fatally flawed, by Pamela Palmater, published in Lawyer’s Daily, May 15, 2017
Fort McKay and Mikisew Cree First Nations in Alberta leading charge on buy-in on Trans Mountain pipeline, by Gordon Hoekstra and Rob Shaw, Postmedia, July 5, 2018
* ‘Nowhere else to turn’: First Nations inundated by oilsands projects face impossible choices, photo essay by Judith Lavoie, published in The Narwhal, June 30, 2018 Indigenous communities living downstream of the Alberta oilsands say regulatory processes favour industry, creating a losing battle for traditional ways of life
* First Nations seek bigger stakes, profits from oil sector, Reuters, March 2, 2018
Child labour in British Columbia, home of Canada’s highest poverty rates, report by Glenda Luymes, Vancouver Sun, July 5, 2018 British Columbia stands out among provinces in Canada in allowing workers between 12 and 14 years of age to engage in virtually any form of work without regulatory authorization, according to a review of labour law being conducted by the British Columbia Law Institute.
… In 2003, the Liberal government removed a permit requirement for children under 15, allowing kids to work with a letter from parents. The letter is supposed to be kept by their employer.
“This puts the onus on parents to check if a work site is safe for their child, which can be quite awkward,” says Adrienne Montani, provincial coordinator with First Call B.C., a coalition of organizations that advocate for children and youth. “A teen doesn’t want their mom or dad poking around at their first job.”
Canada sends military force to Mali, by Gerry Caplan, published in his blog at Rabble.ca, June 29, 2018 [This is a generic analysis of the role Western powers in Africa during the past century and a half. The analysis sidesteps any specific history of Mali and any specific history of Canadian intervention abroad, be it of the warmaking or ‘peacekeeping’ variety. Thus, there is no mention of Canada’s central role in the Haiti coup of 2004 and no mention of Canada’s central role in the new cold war and the Ukraine coup of February 2014. Instead, we get a suggestion of Canadian peacekeeping benevolence in this sentence: “There are many other UN missions that would welcome Canada’s help, so why did the Liberals choose Mali?”]
Canada imposes tariffs on US$12.8 billion of U.S. imports, by Josh Wingrove and Greg Quinn, Bloomberg News, June 29, 2018
* How Canada’s counter-tariffs on U.S. goods work, and what they’ll do, CBC News, June 29, 2018
* Ottawa provides several billion dollars support for steel, aluminum and manufacturing industries hit by U.S. tariffs and places retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, by Canadian Press, June 29, 2018
* Canada–United States trade relations (Wikipedia) The trade relationship between the United States and Canada is the second largest in the world after China and the United States. In 2016, the goods and services trade between the two countries totaled $627.8 billion. U.S. exports were $320.1 billion, while imports were $307.6 billion. The money value of exports in Canada constitute about one third of GDP; 75 per cent of those exports are sold in the United States.
* List of the largest trading partners of Canada, Wikipedia Canada’s trade with the U.S. is double the value of its trade with the European Union and nearly 20 times its trade with China. In total, import and export trade with the U.S. account for some 63 per cent of all Canadian trade.
* Europe threatens U.S. with new tariffs worth $300bn as trade war escalates, RT, July 2, 2018
* Trump’s tariffs: A car crash for Germany, by Chris Bryant, Bloomberg News, July 1, 2018
* U.S.-China trade war winner is who loses least as U.S. duties loom, by Rich Miller and Enda Curran, Bloomberg News, July 1, 2018 The U.S. is set to impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, prompting a tit-for-tat response from China.
* How China is preparing for a potential trade war with the U.S., Associated Press, June 26, 2018
Justin Trudeau is not the ‘anti-Trump’, by Azeezah Kanji, opinion columnist, Toronto Star, June 27, 2018 [The Star columnist exposes the hypocrisy of Justin Trudeau’s claim to be standing up to many of the outlandish polices of the Trump regime. But missing from her analysis is any mention of how Canada marches in lock step with the U.S.-led new cold war against Russia and China and the U.S.-led war agenda in the Middle East. Decades of Canada-U.S military and economic partnership has taken the people of Canada into a dead-end world of war, global warming emergency and rising social inequities.]
Another acquittal of a white man shooting an unarmed First Nations man to death, CBC News, June 27, 2018 A jury in Hamilton, Ontario has declared Peter Khill not guilty in the fatal 2016 shooting of Jon Styres. The decision has eery parallels to the 2016 killing of Coulten Boushie by Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley. He was also acquitted by a jury. In that case, government lawyers decided not to appeal the decision.]
Related: Echoes of 2018 Colten Boushie verdict as Hamilton-area man acquitted in shooting death of unarmed Indigenous man, by Shree Paradkar, race and gender columnist, Toronto Star, June 27, 2018
Report commissioned by British Columbia government details widespread use of casinos to launder proceeds of crime. But the larger story is how the province’s real estate industry is similarly used, report on CBC News, June, 27, 2018
[A report commissioned by the British Columbia government and issued on June 27 says more than $100 million in criminal money was easily ‘laundered’ through the province’s regulated casino industry during the past 15 years. Experts say the real figure is many times that number. Much larger sums, not to speak of massive tax evasion, are run through the province’s inflated housing industry. No one has ever gone to jail for these criminal practices and no one will. Indeed, the very report revealing the crimes is a “whitewash” in which no culprits are named or charged, says Vancouver Sun columnist Ian Mulgrew.
[At the federal level, a recent report estimates $47 billion dollars in federal taxes sits unpaid, dating back several decades. (The Canadian government spends app. $300 billion per year.) Even that is a drop in the bucket compared to the sums which the uber-wealthy are able to shield by from paying taxes by using Canada’s tax-friendly regime or by placing money in offshore tax havens, as revealed by the ‘Panama Papers‘ investigations publicized in 2017. They showed Canada to be a leading country in corporate tax evasion and other forms of corruption with billions of dollars at stake annually, notably in the inflated housing industry. The real estate industries in Canada and in other Western countries are a festival of tax dodging and other forms of corruption for national and international investors. How coincidental to see the Canadian government playing a lead, aggressive role in New Cold War accusations and threats against Russia, painting Russia as a haven of corporate corruption and other malfeasance!]
* Canadians with offshore holdings evade up to $3 billion in tax per year, by Marco Chown Oved, investigative reporter, Toronto Star, Thursday, June 28, 2018 Wealthy Canadians with hidden offshore accounts are evading up to $3 billion in tax every year, according to the first ever estimate of the international tax gap by the Canada Revenue Agency, obtained by the Star. In a report to be made public Thursday, the government estimates Canadian individuals are hiding between $75.9 billion and $240.5 billion in offshore tax havens and elsewhere, and not paying tax on it…
* Canada risks becoming a haven for corrupt capital, press release by Transparency International Canada, Dec 9, 2016 (announcing its 48-page report titled ‘No Reason To Hide: Unmasking the anonymous owners of Canadian companies and trusts’)
* On our doorsteps: Money laundering in Canadian real estate, by Adam Ross (White Label Insights), published by Canadian Bar Association (article adapted from a chapter of Transparency International Canada’s December 2016 report ‘No Reason to Hide: Unmasking the anonymous owners of Canadian companies and trusts’)
Separating children from their parents, the Canadian way, by Gillian Steward, columnist, Toronto Star, June 26, 2018
… there were no cameras to record their fury and sobs when over decades 150,000 First Nation, Inuit, and Métis children were rounded up, forcibly taken from their parents and carted off to residential schools.
… In the 1960s, some provincial governments decided the best way to deal with the rising costs of their Indigenous populations was to put their children up for adoption. Recent research indicates upwards of 20,000 kids were removed from their homes…
In 2016, a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled the Canadian government was discriminating against Indigenous children because on-reserve communities are not afforded the same level of resources for their families as other communities…
Canadian military joins the destructive military intervention by France, U.S. and UN Security Council into Mali, Africa, by Roger Annis, June 25, 2018
RCMP faces $1.1 billion lawsuit over bullying, harassment claims dating back decades, CBC News, June 25, 2018 This lawsuit is expected to eclipse previous harassment cases against the RCMP, including the $100 million settlement in 2016 for the more than 3,100 female officers who claim discrimination and sexual harassment on the job.
The reality for Canada of scrapping the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, by Thomas Walkom, columnist, Toronto Star, June 21, 2018
* U.S. military bases prepare to house up to 20,000 children as Trump regime pursues arrests of all undocumented migrants, report by Alex Ward, VOX News, June 21, 2018
* Flores agreement: Trump’s executive order to end family separation might run afoul of a 1997 court ruling, by Dara Lind and Dylan Scott, VOX News, June 20, 2018 Getting rid of the requirement to let kids out of immigration custody quickly will take more than a stroke of the pen.
Mass grave in Mali holds 25 bodies tortured and murdered by Mali army, Reuters, June 19, 2018
Human rights groups accuse the Malian military of conducting extrajudicial killings, kidnappings, torture and arbitrary arrests against suspected sympathizers of jihadist groups – charges it has promised in the past to investigate.
… Human Rights Watch associate director for West Africa Corinne Dufka said in an email to Reuters, “Since 2017, I’ve documented over 60 alleged executions by the Mali army of suspects who are buried in at least seven common graves, none of which have resulted in justice for the families.”
* Twenty-five bodies found in central Mali after army sweep, Agence France presse, June 18, 2018
* Executions by Malian government troops highlight human-rights challenges for Canadian soldiers, by Geoffrey York, Globe and Mail, June 22, 2018 [The Canadian government and military announced in March 2018 that Canada will send an expeditionary mission (so-called ‘peace enforcement’) mission to Mali where the Mali arm, soldiers from other Arfican countries and France are waging an ‘anti-terrorism’ war. This is a copy of the murderous, imperialist war of occupation in Afghanistan.] * Mali war and occupation Archive of articles by Roger Annis and other writers on the April 2012 military coup d’etat in Mali and the French military intervention into Mali ten months later.
Wave of asylum seekers crossing U.S. border in Quebec and Manitoba floods Toronto’s shelters, by Tavia Grant, Globe and Mail, June 21, 2018
B.C. government sets new 2022 deadline for coastal fish farms, by Rob Shaw, Vancouver Sun, June 20, 2018 [Atlantic salmon fish farms along BC’s Pacific coastline are widely opposed because they pollute the surrounding waters and degrade the Pacific salmon species living in the wild. The BC government is following the example of the Ottawa government’s Trans Mountain Pipeline advocacy by seeking to lure impoverished First Nations communities into ‘consent’ for such environmentally destructive policies. See the June 21 report below concerning the Cheam First Nation and the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.]
Related: British Columbia government widely criticized for four-year delay on fish farm tenures, by Rob Shaw, Vancouver Sun, June 21, 2018
The Trudeau government’s nationalization of the Trans Mountain pipeline frustrates Cheam First Nation members along the route, by Angela Sterritt, CBC News, June 21, 2018 [Leaders of the Cheam First Nation in the lower Fraser River valley have been lured into supporting the Ottawa government’s planned tripling of the capacity of the Trnsn Mountain tar sands pipeline. Members of the First Nation have no say or control over that decision.]
Don’t let dairy supply management myths spoil the milk, op-ed commentary by Sarah Elton and Rod Macrae, Globe and Mail, June 21, 2018
CETA sabotage would mark an ‘own goal’ for Italy’s populists, by Eric Reguly, columnist, Globe and Mail, June 21, 2018 On the trade front, Canada doesn’t have a lot going for it right now. Now CETA, the new Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, is in trouble thanks to a populist revolution in Italy that carries Trumpian overtones…
Canadian Security Intelligence Service is purging years of communications data collected on Canadians, by Colin Freeze, Globe and Mail, June 19, 2018
… The records relate to CSIS’s logging of communications trails of ordinary Canadians who were not themselves considered threats, but who were once seen to be connected to terrorism suspects.
… Privacy advocates fear that such records about ordinary people will be gathered, kept and deleted in ways that lack transparency and accountability. “This was a ‘Big Data’ surveillance effort that was operated in contravention of the authorizing law of CSIS, an incredibly secretive organization,” said Chris Parsons, a researcher at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab.
* Ten things you need to know about Bill C-59 (‘An act respecting national security matters’), by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Sept 12, 2017
* CSIS broke law by keeping sensitive metadata, Federal Court rules, by Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press, Nov 3, 2016
Report examining child poverty in Canada finds 40 per cent of children in Finance Minister Morneau’s election district live in poverty, by Jordan Press, The Canadian Press, June 18, 2018
* Newly elected right-wing Ontario premier Doug Ford orders hiring freeze in public sector, The Canadian Press, June 18, 2018
* Doug Ford and the contradictions of right-wing politics, commentary by Andrew Jackson, in Globe and Mail ‘Report On Business, June 18, 2018 (Andrew Jackson is a Keynesian economist and senior policy adviser to the social-democratic Broadbent Institute.) [The author writes favourably of Britain’s minimum wage of 7.83 pounds (CAN$13.70). That rate is lower than the current minimum wage of Ontario at CAN$14 but much higher than in most other Canadian provinces. Other rates in equivalent Canadian currency are $17.90 in Australia and $15. 10 in New Zealand.
Canada should give up on NAFTA, op-ed commentary by Gordon Laxer, published in Toronto Star, June 18, 2018 (Gordon Laxer is the author of the 2015 book After The Sands.)
Related articles by Gordon Laxer:
* How NAFTA restricts Canada’s ability to lower carbon emissions, op-ed commentary by Gordon Laxer, published in Toronto Star, April 17, 2018
* The case for phasing out Alberta’s tar sands, by Gordon Laxer, published in Resilience.org, May 23, 2017
Indigenous protesters in Washington state declare Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline won’t be built, by Laura Kane, The Canadian Press, June 18, 2018
Canada detains migrant kids, too, and it needs to stop, experts say, by David P. Ball, StarMetro Vancouver, June 18, 2018 Canadian Border Services Agency figures show that on average, 182 minors per year have been detained across Canada since Liberals took office in 2015. [In the media reporting of the U.S. Trump regime’s new policy of detaining refugee families and children, little attention is paid to the conditions that refugee families are fleeing, namely, the societal wreckage of U.S.-sponsored civil wars and coups d’etat in Central America, going back decades. Canada has also waged such policy, for example the coups d’etat in Haiti in 2004 and Honduras in 2009. Today, Canada is fomenting a coup d’etat in Venezula.]
* White House ties border wall to migrant family separations, by Tamsin McMahon, U.S. correspondent, Globe and Mail, June 18, 2018
* UN refugee agency reports a record 68.5 people million displaced worldwide in 2017, Associated Press, June 18, 2018
* New U.S. migration family seperation policy fuels calls for Canada to end Safe Third Country Agreement, by Cormac MacSweeney and Lasia Kretzel, News 1130, June 19, 2018 [Canada–United States Safe Third Country Agreement, signed in 2002 between Liberal Party gov’t in Ottawa and George W. Bush regime in U.S, Wikipedia.]
Canadian gov’t pursues appeal of BC Supreme Court ruling in early 2018 restricting use of solitary confinement in prisons, CBC News, June 19, 2018 [The B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society of Canada are fighting the Canadian government’s appeal of a court ruling saying that indefinite solitary confinement of prisoners is unconstitutional and causes permanent harm. The United Nations considers indefinite solitary confinement of prisoners to be a form of torture.]
Lawyers will appeal directly to Canada Supreme Court to reverse murder conviction 20 years ago based on ‘Mr Big’ sting operation, by Sean Fine, justice reporter, Globe and Mail, June 17, 2018 [Defense lawyers say the federal government’s Criminal Conviction Review Group is “To put it bluntly, the CCRG appears incapable of reviewing files in a timely manner and the recent delays border on the intolerable.” The CCRG was established in 1993 the wake of the reversals of the murder convictions of Donald Marshall and David Milgard. In 2014, the Supreme Court said it has grave doubts about the use by police forces of ‘Mr Big’ sting operations. In 2016, a couple in British Columbia won an appeal before the BC Supreme Court overturning their 2015 conviction on ‘terrorism’ charges that was based on a police sting operation. A decision is pending on a federal government appeal of that exoneration presented before the BC Supreme Court in January 2018.]
Detentions of children crossing U.S.-Mexico border heightens calls for Canada to suspend 14 year-old ‘safe third country’ refugee agreement with U.S., report by Nicholas Keung, immigration reporter, Toronto Star, June 17, 2018
Related: Conclusive proof that it is Trump’s policy to separate children from their families at the border, by Alex Lockie, Business Insider, June 18, 2018
More Globe and Mail warnings of ‘China threat’, report in June 18, 2018 Globe and Mail warning that Chinese telecom Huawei is a ‘national security threat [Globe and Mail writers Robert Fife and Steven Chase team up to warn that Chinese telecom giant Huawei is a “grave cybersecurity risk” to Canada. They cite cite right-wing Republican and Democrat senators as authorities on the subject. This June 18 article was followed by three more by the same writers in the three days following, keeping up a drumbeat of calls for Canada to ban Huawei from funding university research. This is the latest set of articles on Chinese commerce in Canada echoing similar themes to the Globe‘s already-established new cold war, anti-Russia themes.]
‘This is a great moment for Canadians to ask themselves ‘Has the direction that Canada has taken in giving up sovereignty to the United States over the last generation achieved Canada’s best interests?’, interview with journalist John Helmer, broadcast on ‘Gorilla Radio’ on CFUV radio station in Victoria BC, with host Chris Cook, June 14, 2018 (24-minute interview, begins at two-minute mark)
… “What has happened strategically is that the little club that calls itself the ‘G7’ has ceased to have a significant role in the world. It’s a group of people who on big issues could not agree in Charlevoix [the 44th G7 summit meeting of June 8, 9 in Charlevoix, Quebec]. They can’t agree because U.S. policy has gone in a direction that neither Europe nor Canada see as in their interests.
“I wouldn’t place so much focus on the psychology of that was said in Charlevoix. I would put the focus, as President Putin said after the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation met simultaneously, that it’s not anyone else’s job to comment on the vicissitudes of a little group called the G7 when they can’t agree and they start to insult each other. Especially not when that G7 insults everyone else.
“If you look at that G7 communique… it attacks China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and Syria, for starters… Well, if Mr. Trudeau and Ms Freeland wish to endorse economic warfare against some countries and then express dismay when the United States protects its own interests, isn’t the question to be asked not a psychological one but a political one: What serves Canada’s interests?… Has Ms Freleand, representing the constituency of Ukraine in Canada, achieved anything good for Canada out of that particular obsession against Russia? Can she do the same with China? These are big countries, not little countries…
“This is a great moment for Canadians to ask themselves ‘Has the direction that Canada has taken in giving up sovereignty to the United States over the last generation achieved its best interests?’… The question is, can Canada stand up for its interests by keeping the Liberal Party in power? … There’s an opportunity here for a great debate, and it’s not over the colour of Mr Trudeau’s socks… it’s whether he, as a leader of a party, has something to say to defend the country and whether his foreign minister is up to the job. SHE doesn’t think HE is up to the job. That’s astounding. SHE hasn’t defended him in public and HE hasn’t defended himself…”
Trudeau just made a major pivot towards toughness with his Iran policy, by Anthony Furey, columnist, Toronto Sun, June 12, 2018 [The Canadian government is whining and complaining about Donald Trump’s protectionist moves targetting economic trade between Canada with the U.S. But when it comes to foreign policy, all is well. Canada is in lockstep with the Trump’s regime’s hostile turn against Iran, including the regime’s abrogation of the 2015 political agreement (so-called nuclear agreement) between Iran and the West.]
* Liberal and Conservative MPs vote in Ottawa to abandon diplomatic talks with Iran, statement by the Iranian Canadian Congress, June 12, 2018 Today is a sad day for supporters of diplomacy and peace in Canada. In an unexpected and disappointing move, the vast majority of Liberal MPs in the House, including the Liberal leadership and Prime Minister Trudeau himself, stood with the Conservative Party and voted for a motion that asks the Federal Government to abandon its policy of reestablishing relations with Iran. The NDP and the Green Party’s Elizabeth May voted against this motion in the House…
* Letter from ten Canadian antiwar organizations on Iran Nuclear Agreement, published on the website of the Iranian Canadian Congress, May 11, 2018
* Iranian Canadian Congress calls on Canadian government to continue its commitment to Iran Nuclear Agreement, statement by the Iranian Canadian Congress, May 7, 2018
Canadian monument to controversial Ukrainian national hero ignites debate, feature article by Levon Sevunts, published by the state-run Radio Canada International, June 9, 2018 [The author gives voice in his otherwise important article to the view that drawing attention to monuments in Canada commemorating World War Two-era Nazi collaborators in Ukraine serves a nefarious propaganda agenda “for political purposes” by Russia and ‘Putin’. He does not question the “political purposes” of the Canadian government in allowing such monuments to stand. On the contrary, he ends his article with glowing marks for Canada and its support to the far-right government in Ukraine, citing an official of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada: “Canada condemns in the strongest terms the glorification of Nazism and all forms of anti-Semitism, racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, intolerance and extremism”. The author ‘forgets’ to report that Canada has voted consistently at the United Nations in recent years against resolutions to that very effect.]
The carbon bubble: Here come the New Dirty Thirties, by Crawford Kilian, The Tyee, June 13, 2018
(Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee) The ugly end days of fossil fuel will mean big trouble for Canadians.
Related: Sharp rise in oil and tar sands extraction forecast by Canada’s oil industry association, by Dan Healing, The Canadian Press, June 12, 2018 [Canada’s oil production [including tar sands] is expected to increase by 1.4 million barrels per day by 2035, to 5.6 million bpd, despite an ongoing “competitiveness gap” that discourages investment, according to the annual forecast of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The increase will mainly due to a 58 per cent rise in oilsands [sic] production to 4.2 million bpd the group says.]
Kinder Morgan violated environmental rules in work at its Trans Mountain Pipeline export terminal in Vancouver harbour, by Mike De Souza, National Observer, June 12, 2018 But Ottawa, the new owner of the pipelline terminal, says it has a ‘world leading’ program to protect Canada’s west coast from tanker spills and other damage from the oil industry.
The Canadian government’s ‘homelessness program’, report by Jordan Press, The Canadian Press, June 11 2018 [Homelessness and poverty are rising in Canada. Which is one measure of the supposed ‘housing policy’ of the Trudeau-led government in Ottawa. It’s not a housing policy at all–it is a series of measures to paper over the public relations consequences of rising homelessness and poverty. The highest provincial rate of poverty among seniors is in British Columbia (see related report). No surprise here because that’s also where Canada’s housing price speculation bubble is running the most amok.]
* New report show poverty rate among seniors in Canada is highest in British Columbia, United Way of British Columbia, June 11, 2018
Seniors’ poverty in British Columbia is the highest rate in the country, according to the B.C. Seniors’ Poverty Report Card released today by the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC), and United Way of the Lower Mainland.
The B.C. Seniors’ Poverty Report Card is the first of its kind and is based on the latest data available from Statistics Canada (2015). It consists of 13 fact sheets illustrating the scope of seniors’ poverty in British Columbia. The report is available at www.uwlm.ca/news/bc-seniors-poverty-report-card. Among the key findings is that 8.8 per cent of seniors live in poverty in B.C. compared to the Canadian averge of 6.6 per cent…
* Vancouver mayoral candidate Patrick Condon wants 50 per cent of housing to be social housing and heavy taxation of land and housing speculation, report by Dan Fumano, Vancouver Sun, June 11, 2018
What’s at stake if the U.S. slaps threatened 25 per cent tariffs on vehicle imports from Canada?, by Greg Keenan, auto industry reporter, June 11, 2018 (subscriber only article)
… Tariffs on autos and auto parts would represent a major escalation of the trade battle and “could be the death blow to the [Canadian] auto industry,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice-president of industry, labour and economics at the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank in Ann Arbor, Mich.
… About 130,000 Canadians are directly employed in vehicle assembly and auto-parts making, thousands more at auto dealerships across the country; and two-way trade accounts for $140-billion annually. Mr. Trump could announce tariffs under the 1962 Trade Expansion Act as early as October, said Dan Ujczo, an Ohio trade lawyer…
* Trump is tearing into Canada’s agricultural policy. Does he have a point?, CBC News, June 12, 2018
Fallout continues following G7 summit meeting: Top Trump advisor says ‘there’s a special place in hell’ for Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, report on CBC News, June 10, 2018
… “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” trade adviser Peter Navarro told Fox News.
… It seemed the two-day G7 leaders’ summit in La Malbaie, Quebec on June 9 and 10 had avoided descending into chaos over trade disagreements after a joint communiqué signed by all seven participating nations was issued June 10. But minutes after the official release of the document, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the communiqué citing “false statements” by Trudeau and calling the Canadian leader “very dishonest and weak”…
Related: Ontario could feel the pain if Trump makes good on auto tariff threat, CBC News, June 11, 2018 Newly-elected, right-wing Premier Doug Ford of Ontario has publicly stated support for Trump and isn’t saying what he’ll do to mitigate possible fallout of threatened 25 per cent tariffs
Canada exports some $80-billion of vehicle parts and final assembly annually to the U.S. There are some 40,000 jobs in auto assembly and 80,000 more in auto parts, almost all in the province of Ontario. By comparison, the Canadian steel and aluminium industries recently hit with 25 per cent U.S. tariffs are roughly one-quarter the size.
Officials in Washington state say Canada’s emergency response preparedness is not ready for a Kinder Morgan pipeline spill, by Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail, June 10, 2018
Trump drops bombshell after leaving G7 summit in Quebec, accusing summit chairperson Trudeau of ‘false statements’, by Tonda MacCharles, Toronto Star, June 9, 2018
* Dairy and poultry sectors are the weak link in Canada’s trade defences, by Barry McKenna, business columnist, Globe and Mail, June 8, 2018 (subscriber only) Read the article here in pdf format: Dairy and poultry sectors are the weak link
* Why Ottawa’s countertariffs could boost the country’s food industry, by Sylvain Charlebois, commentary in The Globe and Mail, June 6, 2018
* Let’s stop ‘babbling’ and get back to real work: Putin fires back at G7 criticism on Russia, RT, June 10, 2018 Russian President Vladimir Putin hit back at the latest G7 criticisms of Russia, saying they should get back to cooperating instead of “creative babbling,” following the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit meeting in Qingdao, China…
Russiagate knocking on Canada’s doors: Ex-FBI director James Comey says Canada will be targeted by ‘Russian hackers’ in 2019 election, report on Global News, June 7, 2018 [Corporate media in Canada is positively swooning over every word by James Comey, the former and longtime director of the top domestic political police agency in the U.S., the FBI. Listen, for example, to this fawning interview with Comey broadcast on CBC Radio One‘s ‘The Current’ on May 11, 2018. Why, the man is an absolute champion of democracy, we learn.]
Ontario voters give right-wing, ‘tax cutting’ Doug Ford an election mandate to do anything he wants, by Thomas Walkom, columnist, Toronto Star, June 7, 2018 And, How a historic Liberal collapse and PC upheaval turned June 7 Ontario election into a wild horse race, by Tom Blackwell, National Post, June 7, 2018 [Election turnout was a 20-year high.]
2018 election result: (Wikipedia)
Conservative: 2,322,422 (76 seats)
New Democrat: 1,925,574 (40 seats, up 780,000 votes from 2014)
Liberal: 1,123,283 (7 seats, down 740,000 votes)
Green: 263,987 (1 seat, up 30,000 votes)
2018: 9.6/5.7 million
2014: 9.2/4.8 million
1990: 6.2/4 million
Environmental activists in Washington state vow to fight the expansion of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, soon to be owned by the Canadian government, by Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail, June 6, 2018 (subscriber only)
[Financial disclosure documents issued as part of Kinder Morgan Canada’s initial public offering for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in 2017 indicate the potential to more than double the throughput of the Puget Sound pipeline, boosting its capacity from 240,000 to 500,000 barrels a day (b/d). The line branches off to Washington state from the lower Fraser River Valley in British Columbia. In 2017, a little more than half of the crude oil flowing through the Trans Mountain pipeline was delivered to the Puget Sound refineries for processing. The piepline expansion is intended to boost tar sands bitumen exports, taking advantage of the loading facilities at upper Washington state refineries.]
* Canadian government purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline: Is Washington state now in the tar sands crosshairs?, by Clark Williams-Derry, Sightline Institute, June 7, 2018
… Hidden in the details of the Canadian and Alberta governments’ purchase of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline is a surprising fact: the Canadian government intends to buy not only Trans Mountain but also the Puget Sound Pipeline… Even more troublingly, Kinder Morgan has been telling investors for years that it is considering doubling the capacity of the Puget Sound Pipeline.
* Facebook page of Stop the Kinder Morgan Pipeline Seattle
Soft-left municipal parties in Vancouver city reach election agreement with the ‘Vision’ electoral machine that since 2008 has overseen the real estate industry’s bonanza years—and the housing crisis for the poor, report in Vancouver Sun, June 4, 2018 [The Vision election machine (‘party’) has received five of ten city councillor slots as part of an election deal among ‘left wing’ municipal parties in the upcoming municipal election in Vancouver on October 20, 2018. The deal was brokered by the Vancouver and District Labour Council. Vision will present its own mayoral candidate to replace retiring Vision mayor Gregor Robertson. It has acclaimed Ian Campbell as its candidate. He is a ‘hereditary chief’ of the Squamish First Nation and a real estate developer. Vision should be best remembered for its role in the tragedy of the destruction of the Little Mountain social housing complex that once housed 224 low income families. The complex was privatized and sold to the Holborn Group in 2007, to be replaced by a large condo development in which the social housing units would be replaced. The development was never built.]
How Vienna cracked the case of housing affordability, by Patrick Condon, The Tyee, June 6, 2018 Vienna has a 100-year history of building public housing for all. According to Patrick Condon, sixty per cent of Vienna residents live in one form or another of social housing. What can we learn in Vancouver, home of Canada’s runaway housing price bubble? (Patrick Condon is a professor of urban design at the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia. This article is part three of a three-part series; find the entire series here.)
* Interview with former British Columbia MLA David Chudnovsky on the tragedy of the Little Mountain social housing complex in Vancouver, June 7, 2018 (ten-minute interview, begins at one-minute mark) [In 2007, the BC Liberal Party of the day ok’d the demolition of the Little Mountain social housing complex that housed 224 low income families. It sold the land to the Holborn Group, which then failed to carry though its promise to replace the social housing units as part of a much larger condo development on the same property, adjacent to Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park. Holborn built and manges the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver. The ‘Vision’ municipal party won the mayoral and city council elections of 2008, 2011 and 2014. A party closely tied to Vancouver’s real estate industry, it has done nothing to undo the historic injustice of Little Mountain. It has acclaimed a real estate developer, Ian Campbell, as its 2018 mayoral candidate.] * Homeless man in Vancouver suffering from cancer dies in Tim Hortons coffee chain outlet, CBC News, June 6, 2018
Two articles hoping against hope that the Ontario NDP might become more left-wing if elected on June 7:
* What’s at stake in the Ontario election?, by David Bush, published in Rank and File.ca, June 4, 2018 ‘The more we do over the next couple of days to galvanize support against [Conservative Party leader Doug Ford] on the issues to show the NDP as a real alternative, the better we are prepared to take on Ford if he wins.’
* The NDP claws its way back, by Gerard Di Trolio, Jacobin, June 4, 2018 (by the same author: The NDP’s oil problem, Jacobin, April 4, 2018)
[The Ontario election campaign has been noteworthy for the fact that the parties and candidates are saying next to nothing about the global warming emergency. The authors of the above two articles follow this pattern, each saying nothing on the subject. What could be more important in political discourse today if not the global warming emergency, not to speak of the relentless drive by imperialism towards more wars, notably targetting Russia and China?]
What Ontario workers can expect from a NDP government, by Gerard Di Trolio, Rank and File.ca, June 1, 2018
Canadian navy joined with U.S. in using ships as ‘floating Guantanamos’ detaining and abusing suspected drug smugglers in int’l waters, report on CBC News, June 6, 2018
On the eve on the Ontario election, Conservative Party leader’s sister-in-law sues him for losing the family fortune due to incompetence, report in CBC News, June 4, 2018 (and report in Globe and Mail, June 4, 2018)
[Conservative Party leader Doug Ford is the brother of the cocaine-addicted, train wreck of a former Toronto mayor Rob Ford (2010-14). Rob Ford died of cancer in 2016. His wife says in her lawsuit that Doug Ford squandered the Ford family fortune due to his business incompetence. The lawsuit says he is incompetent as a businessman, including naming unqualified friends to executive positions in the family label-making company.
[The lawsuit comes on the eve of the June 7 Ontario election. Three pro-private enterprise parties are in the running. The incumbent Liberals are trailing badly in the polls while the Conservative Party and New Democratic Party are neck and neck. The pro-private enterprise Green Party is a distant fourth. The latest poll numbers are here; they show the Conservatives winning a legislative majority. ]
Related: Is Ontario Conservative Party leader Doug Ford his brother’s keeper?, by Martin Regg Cohn, columnist, Toronto Star, June 5, 2018
NDP government in BC planning to lower taxes for its hoped-for liquefied natural gas industry, column by Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun, June 4, 2018 [BC NDP Premier John Horgan wants even lower taxes on the natural gas fracking industry than the preceding Liberal Party government had planned. An ‘LNG’ industry will be created by boosting gas fracking/land desecration in the northeast of the province, though low world prices for the product may leave the hoped-for industry as a pipe dream. Such is the state of the ‘environmentally conscious’ NDP: an NDP premier in Alberta who champions expanded tar sands production and an NDP premier in BC who champions natural gas fracking. This is the party to which Canada’s moribund left defers.]
Thieves falling out: In U.S. television interview, Canadian prime minister slams fellow NATO member U.S. for ‘insulting’ tariffs against steel and aluminum imports from Canada, report on CBC News, June 3, 2018 (Watch here the full interview with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on NBC’s ‘Meet The Press, June 3, 2018.) [Joined in lockstep with the United States in waging a new cold war against Russia and regime change in Ukraine, Syria and Venezuela, Canada and Europe squirm as the Trump administration squeezes them over investment and trade regimes.]
* Few days left to avoid full-scale trade war between U.S. and EU, says France’s finance minister, RT, June 2, 2018
* G7 finance ministers meet in Canada, six of them criticize U.S. tariff war, CBC News, June 3, 2018
* Putin signs law on countermeasures against US and its allies, RT, June 4, 2018
Housing emergency is Vancouver’s worst crisis since WWII, by Douglas Todd, columnist, Vancouver Sun, June 4, 2018
Related: Vancouver’s house property taxes are the lowest in Canada and have declined as the housing price bubble accelerates, commentary by Alex Hemingway, Vancouver Sun, June 4, 2018
Doubly risible: Fresh from his government’s multi-billion financing of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline expansion, Justin Trudeau will champion the risible global warming targets of the 2015 Paris climate change agreement at the G7 sumit meeting in Malbaie, Quebec on June 8, 9, 2018, report in Globe and Mail ‘Report On Business’, June 4, 2018 (subscriber only) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking to reassert Canada’s claim to climate change leadership at the coming Group of Seven summit, just a week after his government announced it would acquire the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and fund its expansion…
Canadian gov’t quietly writes off loan to auto industry oligarchs but won’t reveal sum or say who got it, CBC News, June 2, 2018 The loan written off in March 2018 likely was to auto sector, but Liberal government refuses to disclose details
… The most-recent public valuation of commercial loans that remain in arrears shows a total of $1.15 billion still owed to the federal government as of March 2017. Most of that money was part of a $13.7-billion injection of Canadian taxpayer money into the auto sector after the 2009 global financial meltdown.
Trans Mountain pipeline supporters are kidding themselves to think PM Trudeau’s reassuring words can dispel tragic outcomes, by Jennifer Wells, business columnist, Toronto Star, June 1, 2018
… For a primer on the black goo you can do no better than the series produced by InsideClimate News on the 2010 Enbridge spill of diluted Canadian bitumen into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard Of, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. It’s an eye-opening account of confusion, delays and mistruths, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency not even knowing what they were dealing with: black gunk that can’t be sucked off the surface of the water, as is the case with conventional oil, but sinks to the river bottom after the added chemicals that have allowed the bitumen to flow have vapourized into the atmosphere. Reading it will correct the mistake of describing the Trans Mountain pipeline as a conveyor of “liquids”. The diluents added to the bitumen to liquefy it can include the carcinogen benzene and the neuropathy-causing chemical hexane…
* ‘Houston has a problem’: The call that sparked Canada’s Trans Mountain crisis, feature article by Geoffrey Morgan, Financial Post, June 1, 2018 Even in the 11th hour, politicians desperate to save the Trans Mountain pipeline were uncertain a deal would get done. Here’s how it went down.
* Fossil fuel pipelines or climate action? Trudeau walks a political tightrope in Canada, by Nicholas Kusnetz, Inside Climate News, June 1, 2018
* If Ottawa can’t sell Trans Mountain, it’ll need to spend billions more to build it, by Jesse Snyder, Financial Post, June 1, 2018 The $6.3B figure to build the expansion was likely ‘conservative,’ given rising steel prices and as Ottawa isn’t a specialized pipeline builder/operator like Kinder Morgan
* Kinder Morgan, the U.S. oil giant that outsmarted the Canadian government, by Nick Cunningham, Oil Price.com, May 30, 2018
British Columbia court tightens the injunction restricting protests against Trans Mountain pipeline, report by CBC News, June 1, 2018 And, report by Camille Bains, Canadian Press, June 1, 2018 And, report in National Observer, June 3, 2018 … B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck agreed to the lawyers’ request to make the injunction applicable to other locations and equipment facilities and also removed the 10-minute warning period given to protesters before police start making arrests…
Trans Mountain pipeline scores another victory as federal court rejects as ‘hearsay’ news reports of rigged approval process, by Mike De Souza, National Observer, June 1, 2018
Kinder Morgan has scored another legal victory after the Federal Court of Appeal rejected a request to consider new evidence from news reports that allegedly showed the Trudeau government rigged its review of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
… The Federal Court of Appeal has yet to rule on the main case launched by First Nations who allege that the Trudeau government failed in its legal duty to consult them, prior to approving the Trans Mountain project in November 2016. This decision could be released in the coming weeks…